Mystery mammal caught on camera - WSMV Channel 4

Mystery mammal caught on camera

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DOVER, TN (WSMV) -

If you visit the Log Cabin Cafe in Stewart County, you'll find everyone has a theory.

"Nobody could believe it. Everyone in this restaurant has been talking about it, all over Stewart County people have been talking about it," said Sara Byrd. 

Some think it's a big, wild cat,

"The majority of people here say panther," said Jessie Shepherd.

"I think it's a tiger," said Byrd.

Some said it's just a big dog.

"It's one of those big misfits or an extra large bull dog," said Emmette Burns.  

Whatever "it" is, something is lurking in Stewart County's woods.

A man caught the mystery creature on camera with his motion sensor trail camera.

He took it to wildlife officers, who investigate these things all the time, and even they're scratching their heads.

"The head on it looks a little rounded more like a cat than a dog," said Doug Markham, the public information officer for TWRA.

Some are downright concerned.

"I'm just worried it's going to hurt an animal or a child or something," said Byrd. 

"We don't know if there's more than one," said Shepherd.

TWRA said not to worry.  First of all, they get reports of bobcat sightings all the time and usually it turns out to be a dog or coyote, and while they can't say for sure this isn't a mountain lion, Markham said it's highly unlikely.

"I'm still waiting for the day that I get the photograph that positively identifies a cougar and we go out and prove it. I'm zero for 25 years," said Markham

TWRA officers said mountain lions used to live all across the U.S. but they no longer exist in Tennessee. 

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